Skip to main content

tv   [untitled]    May 22, 2012 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT

3:30 pm
has meant for the fight for civil rights in san francisco and throughout the country, he is up there with names like rosa parks, names like cesar he is truly an inspiration for anyone who believes in equal rights, freedom and justice. it's not surprising that so many members of the lbgt community are here, including supervisor britt, thank you for being here. let me tell you a little bit about why it's an honor to introduce a resolution before the board of supervisors and offer a proclamation that honors jose for his tremendous contributions to san francisco and declares may 22, 2012 as
3:31 pm
jose assaria de end at san francisco which may be the first time the city and county of san francisco has dedicated a date to him, and if that is the case, it's a long time coming and a long time overdue. he was not only a longtime leader of the gay community, but all communities. he's someone who throughout his life has embodied the best of san francisco and his country. he has founded several advocacy organizations and used entertainment to create political change. he began his theatrical career at the historic black cat bar, earning the alias, the nightingale of montgomery street, for singing arias from the opera while he delivered drinks to bar patrons. the nightingale of montgomery street use his performance
3:32 pm
platform to encourage bar patrons to come out of the clause it to live openly and honestly, delivering famous sayings like there's nothing wrong with being gay, the crime is being caught, and united we stand, divided they catch us one by one. jose was forced to abandon his dream of becoming a teacher when he was unjustly arrested by ruth police department for solicitation in a sting operation at st. francis hotel. this was a different time in san francisco, when police officers were in the business of going after members of the lgbt community. he formed an organization to run educational programs on the topics of homosexuality and provide support for men being ostracized for being gay and were caught up in police raids.
3:33 pm
in 1961, jose ran for a seat on the san francisco board of supervisors, becoming the first openly gay man to run for elected office in the entire united states. 1961. [applause] as he explained last night during the presentation of his lifetime achievement award, the establishment at the time was so scared that he could very well win that many candidates were recruited for the very purpose of keeping him from being elected to the san francisco board of supervisors. at the end of the day, in a field of 32 candidates, he came in ninth place in 1961 and almost won the seat to the very body. in 1962, he co-founded the
3:34 pm
tavern guild, the first gay business association in the country. in 1963, he felt to find the -- helped found of the society for individual rights that sponsored both social and political functions for the gay community as well as help educate gateman about their rights if arrested or harassed by the police. he assumed the moniker her royal majesty, and prince of san francisco, jose the first, the widow norton, an homage to the mob -- a much to joshua norton who declared himself the emperor of the united states and protector of mexico in 1859. jose assumed the title of empress, which led to the establishment of the imperial court system, a network of nonprofit charitable organizations throughout the united states, canada and
3:35 pm
mexico that have used drag shows and other functions to raise money for charities throughout the world, not just san francisco or the united states, but throughout the world. today, as a returns to his home of san francisco. this week, the week of may 21, in order to receive a lifetime achievement award from the harvey milk democratic club. it's only fitting that today on harvey milk's birthday, who, by the way jose was one of the early endorsers of harvey milk, and i think it's fair to say he plays the trail and set the example for harvey milk to be able to run for office a few years later. i think it is fair to say there have been -- there would have been no harvey milk without jose.
3:36 pm
it is only fair that today the board of supervisors commend his day for his lifetime of activism, cultural and artistic work, and political advocacy on behalf of san francisco's lgbt community and behalf of all san francisco's communities. the result that his outstanding bravery and beautiful wives work, the seventh is the board of supervisors will officially declare once this resolution is passed may 22, 2012 as jose julio saria date in the city and county of san francisco. [applause]
3:37 pm
before we give you an opportunity to say a few words, i one to turn over to my other colleagues on the board. i know some of the other supervisors who have had the honor of being part of we now have as lgbt caucus on the board of supervisors. supervisor wiener: thank you for doing this. for those who don't know, it's hard to overstate -- the first
3:38 pm
and press, it is hard to overstate your contributions to the community. for those of us who were not born when he ran for the board of supervisors and who now sit on the board of supervisors today, i think we all know and we would be fools to think we were somehow treading new ground because we are only here because we are on your shoulders, because you did the work and others did the work under incredible challenges and oppression, going through things that those of us in this generation today, it's hard to even imagine. because of that groundwork, we are able to be where we are today and do the work we do for the community. i am so proud to be able to honor you today and i am so proud to see you again. please just know that we love you and we will always be there
3:39 pm
for you. supervisor olague: i was actually born the year that he ran as the first openly gay candidate for supervisor, and 1961. i just wanted to say that one of the joys of being supervisors, i'm able to honor and think people like you who even though you may get tired of hearing it, if it weren't for the fact that you had the courage to lead the way, many of us would still be stuck in the clause it. you are the ones who took the major hits from the public. even having to reflect on who you are, i want to thank you for having the courage for the rest of us to face, alone, and acknowledge we are. for that, i am forever personally grateful to you and
3:40 pm
supervisor britt and others. thank you. supervisor campos: i have here a commendation -- am sorry when you were here that city government did not treat you well and the police department rescue. we ran the san francisco democratic party and san francisco republican party allowed you -- refused to allow you to list your party affiliation because of your sexual orientation. the city did not treat you well at this time, but the city honors and was issued today. [applause] -- honors and loves you today. [applause]
3:41 pm
3:42 pm
>> first, i want to thank everybody. as i sit in this room and hear all the fabulous things about me, i think to myself what would have happened, what see what i have occupied had i won? first, i think i would have died from friday. -- died from a fright. my intent at that time was not to win. it was to prove that i as a
3:43 pm
citizen of san francisco had the right to help govern the city. once i achieved that, i moved on to the next problem. i think i made a mistake. had i run again, i believe i would have one. i think now i would have been an old man, retired with money, maybe through embezzlement -- [laughter] and my life would be easy. my life has been easy because i am loved by everyone. i want to thank you all. he will have smiles, you all sit
3:44 pm
there in this austere room. and president sitting up there, you never know if they are happier not, but this city has changed quite a bit. let us make it change for the best. let us all work together for the betterment of san francisco. let's forget the eagles and ourselves, what we personally want. i have always said i am very proud to be a san franciscan. i was born at that time in a society, francis -- it still exists, i say.
3:45 pm
-- i think. i have known many people in my day, most of them are gone. but i have the memories of good memories. i'm not going to stand here forever saying the same thing over and over. i want to thank everybody of san francisco for honoring me. i think it's wonderful that you honor me while i'm still alive and can appreciate it. [applause] don't wait until i'm dead. i want to thank you all. you are all very different. at the time i ran, it was italian people and irish people that sat in your chairs. and they ran the city. is there any italians left?
3:46 pm
is there any irish left? they did this. -- thank goodness. i want to thank you all very, very much. i know that my husband, joshua norton also thank you. thank you very much. [applause]
3:47 pm
supervisor campos: supervised britt wanted to say a few words. president chiu: it's good to see it. >> it's good to be on the side. one of the most memorable days of my life was when i first came out as a gay man. the first gay bar i went to was a place called the black cat. jose was there and it was my first experience of gay pride in a spectacular and public way that has stayed in my memory ever since. the last time i saw jose in public was at a cemetery where in the early days, about the time the hiv epidemic hit us, there was an urgent need for community, for fraternity, for
3:48 pm
working together against some historical differences of opinion among lesbians and gay men in the city. the one that was most spectacularly unifying was the widow norton's excursion every year to visit the grave of her husband. it was a moving event that also left a great impact on me. jose, you have been extraordinarily important to me personally, and i know of only one of thousands who would echo that sentiment. thank you. [applause] president chiu: thank you. and we have four other commendations today. why don't we move to a supervisor kim?
3:49 pm
supervisor kim: thank you. i actually have to commendations to begin today, so i think it will begin with the task force. if all of the members could please come to the front -- i see erik mcdonald and the vice chair. [reading names] we have everyone here. on behalf of the board, i want to recognize and commend this amazing group of individuals who spent months and hours, many hours together and i'm sure you got to know each other very well. you also got to know our city very well and i think it's
3:50 pm
important to recognize the countless hours you have spent meeting in the communities and neighborhoods. i want to appreciate the levels of outreach and transparency with which you engage in the process. one thing that was unanimous across the board was that everyone felt he listened to the constituents directly. they saw how your voice is impacted our neighborhood and redistricting lines. it's important for many of us because it's how we ensure voices in our community are heard on the board of supervisors and how those voices and votes are not diluted. i want to commend this group. i think you did a truly honorable job and i am glad we played a role in appointing some of the members. words escape me. i was really impressed by the level of caliber of people had.
3:51 pm
i know i'm not the only supervisor that will be speaking to thank you, but i want to acknowledge the hard working have put into it. it is amazing that you came together with a map that brought our city together instead of dividing us further and i want to thank you for that. president chiu: i know a couple of other colleagues would like to speak. i have a feeling and of the new exactly what you're getting into when you were appointed to this body, but all was in the entire city thank you for your work. i had a number of colleagues who wanted to present to the proclamations, but we thought would make sense for our rules committee chair to make the presentation. our perspective on the specific lines that you drew are irrelevant. u.s. didn't -- he acted in the
3:52 pm
best interest of san francisco. while our opinions were not relevant to your inquiry, we are all of the opinion that he did a great job and we want to thank you the countless hours and your incredible patience. supervisor avalos: i got five minutes late to the closing of public comment, so i did not get to speak publicly, but i did shout over the rail to thank you for your work. most of all, there were a couple of principles i talked about when i came and we would do everything we could to keep the neighborhoods whole and not make wholesale changes to the city and district. that was clearly something that was heard throughout the city and i believe the task force did
3:53 pm
a tremendous job of filling those principles and i am grateful for your work. the people in my district are really pleased with the outcome of your proceedings and i want to thank you for your tremendous efforts at listening. supervisor mar: it's nice to see all of you smiling. you weren't smiling at this long, long meetings. i was on the task force in 1995 and 1996. the tremendous work you have done to listen to so much and then put it into the maps, and to the lines that you drew are very fair and equitable. i'm very appreciative of your work and thank you for your service to the city. all of the district's thank you for listening to our neighborhoods as well.
3:54 pm
supervisor olague: i was one of the folks who thought we should honor you guys because you spent so many hours and came out to the community to the fillmore and we had a good forum on redistricting and what it meant on the state level and the local level. i want to thank you for being sensitive to the communities of interest. for being fair and balanced in the outcome. i am grateful. you guys put in a lot of hours and a lot of hard work. thank you very much. supervisor campos: i don't want to repeat what has been said, when you think about it, redrawing political lines that impact political outcomes for 10 years, that's a very difficult and tricky task. the fact that you guys were able
3:55 pm
to accomplish that objective in a way that was be politicized in a way that had -- that was de- politicized, that was an amazing job and thank you to you and your families and your loved ones because they had to make the sacrifice because it was a very short time line. i just want to say we are all indebted to you. thank you very much. supervisor wiener: i just want to reiterate how impressive your work and performance were. the big battle in my district court in the parts were no one actually lives currently. i wonder if you thought between the folks in the lgbt community
3:56 pm
and the seniors and this huge battle was waiting and i was wondering if you bought laurel completely insane that we were fighting over a place that no one actually lived. -- if you thought we were all completely insane. you took it extremely seriously and you could take something that looks like why are we dealing with this and understand why the different communities had the views that they had. thank you for your diligence. supervisor farrell: i want to echo the comments that were made earlier but the one comment i hear that is true is the fact your decisions were not made on a political basis and that spoke to the purposes of the task
3:57 pm
force and you guys really listened to the different neighborhoods and that's what it was all about. i'm extremely happy with the district to and all of the neighborhood you kept in. the way you guys approached it and carried through with that, being a non-political body was very telling and it's a commitment and a commendation to you guys for a job well done. thank you for your hard work. supervisor kim: i would be remiss if the board did not acknowledge the support staff that support the task force and i would like to recognize that people who supported this task force and their tireless hours as well. i would like to bring up the chair, eric mcdonald, to speak on behalf of the task force. [applause] >> 31 meetings, over 100 hours,
3:58 pm
1300 oral and public comments, but who's counting? it was our privilege and pain to serve and we're grateful for this acknowledgement. we did go into the process as a full task force committed to openness and transparency and doing our best to engage as broad a set of constituents as possible. on one hand, we feel we did a good job. we did not do a great job because we did not reach some folks we hope we couldn't reach. one of our recommendations calling for to future task forces is to start early and go often and get as many voices into the room as possible. lastly, i want to apologize because there were a number of people who shall remain anonymous who were expecting a very politicized, raucous, divisive process and we didn't
3:59 pm
deliver. to them, behalf of the task force, i apologize and i would like to publicly thank the members of the task force to work well together to deliver what we believe is a map and said of redrawn districts in the best interest of our city. on their half, we say thank you for this commendation and we do appreciate it. [applause] president chiu: we look forward to all of you serving in 2020. [laughter]